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News Report

Christie’s to Auction Limited CryptoPunk NFTs

2 mins
Updated by Anirudh Tiwari

In Brief

  • Portraits of Cyberpunk characters with a 24x24, 8-bit-style.
  • Limited collection to go on sale in May.
  • Recognised as the beginning of CryptoArt movement.
  • promo

CryptoPunks NFTs based on founders Matt Hall and John Watkinson, are to be sold at auction at Christie’s 21st Century Evening Sale on the May 13 in New York.

In 2017, Larva Labs co-founders Matt Hall and John Watkinson created a plethora of intriguing characters. Created by Larva Labs, CryptoPunk is a popular NFT marketplace that forerunners of the NFT movement.

Utilizing Ethereum, the pair began an experiment; using the platform’s blockchain-based software, they discovered that they were able to generate thousands of unique 8-bit character portraits. What concluded was the rise of the Non-Fungible token, a digital art-form that would tackle the concept of ownership within a systematic interface, and be regarded as today’s CryptoArt movement. 

NFT is based on famous movie characters

Inspired by the London punk scene and the aesthetic of fictional worlds conveyed in Blade Runner, and William Gibson’s Neuromancer, the library of characters was designed to reflect a non-conformist, cyberpunk attitude.

Creating a definitive, limited set of 10,000 unique avatars, numbered from #1 upward, the software developers initially began giving the portraits away, free of charge for anyone with an Ethereum wallet. In January 2018, a portrait of a teal, pipe-smoking alien (Cryptopunk #7804) was bought by Figma CEO Dylan Field. He sold it in March of this year for the equivalent of $7.5 Million in ethereum, when only purchased for $12. 

Although Field’s Cryptopunk may have been rare (there are only 9 Alien variations of the CryptoPunk in existence), other high profile purchases have been made previously. In February of this year, a fedora-wearing ape Punk, CryptoPunk #6965, was sold for 800 ether – the equivalent of $1.5 Million. Although each portrait is unique, Ape designs are also rare, with the most common CryptoPunk taking the form of “punky-looking guys and girls.”

NFTs generate high revenues

This value is dictated by the concept of individual ownership and the scarcity of certain designs. Therefore, the demand for CryptoPunks has been likened to other collectible items, much like the novelty of trading cards, which sees huge interest in a niche of art lovers.

CryprtoPunk is one of the highest-grossing NFT platforms in the market. As of April 9, the 8,000 sales made in the past twelve months have totaled the equivalent of $251,620,000 (127,360 ETH), which averages each sale at $30,412.40 (15.45 ETH). In the last 24 hrs, it has been the highest-grossing NFT marketplace with a revenue of nearly $13 million

However, for Christie’s auction, Hall and Wilkinson have assembled portraits from their original collection, collating a separate set of CryptoPunks. These are sampled from the sub-1000 series. One of these characters will be CryptoPunk #635, one of the nine aliens.


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